Ebrahim meets Saharawi National Assembly delegates

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pretoria - Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim on Friday met with the Speaker of the Saharawi National Assembly and Head of the Polisario Front delegation in the negotiation with Morocco Mahfud Ali Beiba.

The Speaker of the National Assembly was in South Africa from Thursday to Saturday to attend the Pan African Parliament Speakers' Conference.

Ebrahim held the discussions with Beiba within the context of South Africa's continued support for international efforts towards Western Sahara self-determination in accordance with democratic principles and United Nations resolutions.

He said: "the South African government maintains that Africa cannot consider itself free from domination as long as the situation in Western Sahara remains unresolved."

Accordingly, President Jacob Zuma highlighted the issue at his address of the 64th United Nations General Assembly Debate last month insisting that the people of Western Sahara were entitled to the legitimate right of self-determination.

Ebrahim expressed his "appreciation of the update on the negotiation processes on the Western Sahara by the Speaker and Head of the Polisario delegation in the negotiation and encouraged both parties including the United Nations Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross to continue the process towards finding a just, mutually acceptable and durable solution to the impasse."

The deputy minister reiterated South Africa's commitment to "render political support and humanitarian assistance to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic under the African Renaissance Fund."